KUSA - There's a new group watching out for crime in Wheat Ridge.
Wheat Ridge Police launched a new program called National Dog Walker Watch on Tuesday.
The police department held the first training class Tuesday night. Owners were required to show up. The dogs already know what to do, but could still tag-along.
The training is designed to help increase awareness for suspicious behavior or activity and help dog walker watchers determine what should be reported to police.
"This is a great way for residents and their four-legged friends to help local law enforcement as they do what they do every day: walk through the community," said Wheat Ridge Police Chief Dan Brennan.
Humans who get the training get a certificate signed by Brennan. Pups will get a special bandanna to wear when they "patrol" as honorary police K-9s.
"What we ask is if dog walkers see suspicious behavior," Brennan said. "If your instincts are telling you something doesn't look right, it probably isn't."
Leslie Langsdon has lived in Wheat Ridge for seven years. She believes the program is crucial to keeping a neighborhood safe.
"I think it's critically important, almost nobody knows their neighbors anymore and by watching my neighborhood and watching what's around me it's just another way of looking out for each other," she said. "I know my neighborhood really well and I can tell when things aren't okay."
Dog owners who want to participate in the program must have their pet licensed with the city.
The next training class is on August 7.
Registration for that class will be required in-person at National Night Out on August 1 at Hayward Park in Wheat Ridge.
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